Make sure to stock up on some Poro-snax as we vote, discuss and recap all the things that happened this year in League.
|Champion||Background||Strategy||Skins & Trivia|
WANT. ACHING. NEED!
CLOSE NOW. THEY COME.
NO CHAINS? FREE! KILL!
IN REACH. YES! DIE! DIE!
Gone. Too quick. No fight. More. I want... more.
A voice? Unfamiliar. I see him. The Grand General. My general.
He leads. I follow. Marching. To where? I should know. I can't remember.
It all bleeds together. Does it matter? Noxus conquers. The rest? Trivial. So long... since I've tasted victory.
The war wagon rocks. Rattles. A cramped cage. Pointless ceremony. The waiting. Maddening. Faster, dogs!
There. Banners. Demacians and their walls. Cowards. Their gates will shatter. Thoughts of the massacre come easily.
Who gave the order to halt? The underlings don't answer. No familiar faces. If I do not remember, neither will history.
The cage is opened. Finally! No more waiting. WE CHARGE!
Slings and arrows? The weapons of children! Their walls will not save them!
I can taste their fear. They shrink at every blow as their barricades splinter. SOON!
Noxian drums. Demacian screams. Glory isn't accolades; glory is hot blood on your hands! This is life!
A thousand shattered corpses lie at my feet, and Demacian homes burn all around me. It's over too quickly! Just one more...
The men stare. There's fear in their eyes. If they're afraid to look upon victory, I should pluck those craven eyes out. There is no fear in the Grand General's eyes, only approval. He is pleased with this conquest.
Walking the field with the Grand General, surveying the carnage, I ache for another foe. He is hobbled, a leg wound from the battle? If it pains him, he does not show it. A true Noxian. I do not like his pet, though; it picks over the dead, having earned nothing. His war hounds were more fitting company.
Demacia will be within our grasp soon. I can feel it. I am ready to march. The Grand General insists that I rest. How can I rest when my enemies still live?
Why do we mill about? The waiting eats at me. I'm left to my own devices. The bird watches. It's unsettling. Were it anyone else's, I would crush it.
Fatigue sets in. I've never felt so... tired.
Boram? Is that you? What are you whispering?
Where am I?
Captured? Kenneled like some dog. How?
There was... the battle, the razing of the fortress, the quiet of the aftermath. Were we ambushed? I can't remember.
I was wounded. I can feel the ragged gash... but no pain. They thought me dead. Now, I am their prize. Fate is laughing. I will not be caged! They will regret sparing me.
Demacian worms! They parrot kind words, but they are ruthless all the same. This place is a dank pit. They bring no food. There is no torture. They do not make a show of me. I am left to rot.
I remember my finest hour. I held a king by his throat and felt the final beat of his heart through my tightening grasp. I don't remember letting go. Is this your vengeance, Jarvan?
I hear the triumphal march. Boots on stone. Faint, through the dungeon walls. The cadence of Noxian drums. I shall be free. Demacian blood will run in the streets!
No one came. I heard no struggle. No retreat. Did I imagine it?
There is no aching in this stump. I barely noticed the iron boot. It's caked in rust.
When did I lose my leg?
I still smell the blood. Battle. It brings comfort.
The hunger gnaws. I have not slept. Time crawls. So tired.
So dark. This pit. I remember. Grand General. His whispering. What was it?
Not who I think.
Fading. Mustn't forget.
Message. Cut. Remember.
SION – Beware ravens.
Prior to the creation of the League of Legends, the city-states of Demacia and Noxus were locked in a brutal series of on-again-off-again wars that spanned the course of centuries. Both powers sought an advantage over the other, but Noxus was the city-state willing to forego conventional morality to achieve its goals. Only brute strength and the will to use it mattered to Noxus, and this is best exemplified in the murderous warrior, Sion. Used by the Noxians as a human battering ram, Sion would be sent thundering ahead of Noxian troops. He would mercilessly slaughter foes with his large double-bladed axe, "Chopper". His complete disregard for caution ultimately cost him his life, as he was captured and summarily executed by Demacian forces.
The Demacians thought that the beheading of Sion would be the end of his bloodthirsty ways. Death, however, was merely the beginning of Sion's rise to power. The famed Noxian assassin, Katarina, recovered Sion's remains and Noxian necromancers reanimated the behemoth to serve Noxus once again. Sion's reanimation actually bestowed new powers on him and increased the potency of his existing abilities, making him even more of a terror to behold on the battlefield. The Noxian High Command had a powerful new weapon in their hands - one they have brought to bear as a champion in the League of Legends. Even though Sion's increased powers would make him a powerful tool for the High Command's use outside the Fields of Justice, Noxus no longer risks losing one of their greatest champions in the League to chance or circumstance; Sion's days as a front-line fighter for Noxus' military conquests are at an end.
"For Noxus, death is a promotion."― Pantheon
In this world, nothing is given, only taken by those with the power and the will to do so. Today, we honor a man who embodied what it is to be Noxian, a man who would never be denied victory, even by death.
I remember clearly the day he died. Our hated enemy had marched on us in force. They stood at our walls, ten soldiers fielded for every one of our own, their craven king hiding behind his army to witness us scoured from the face of Valoran with his own eyes. While others counseled me to bar the gates and force our foes to fight for every inch of Noxian soil, this man demanded we march out and face them. He would not cower behind the city walls while Noxus's enemies still drew breath. With our warriors at his back, he strode as a giant through the Demacian rabble with one clear purpose: to cut their army's head from its body.
Jarvan's royal guardsmen believed they could halt his charge. They were wrong. He cut them down, one by one, until only he and the king remained. Battered and fatigued, any lesser man would have given up the attack, but he was a true son of Noxus. He battled Jarvan beyond the point of breaking and was finally bested… but not beaten. With his dying breath, he locked his fingers around the king's throat and broke the will of a nation.
Every Noxian should look upon this memorial and know this is what I demand of you: If you die, do so gloriously. Make the world falter at your loss.
Seeds of Doubt
THORN: "The Grand General puts on a brave face, but he takes this loss harder than he lets on. With his most trusted supporter dead, he feels the treacherous eyes of his generals on his back."
PETAL: "A successor must be chosen. Demacia's shaken. We can't squander this opportunity!"
THORN: "Darkwill sees assassins in every shadow; he is paralyzed by fear."
LEBLANC: "No. He is stalling. Darkwill did not become the Grand General by being a coward. Find out why."
PETAL: "Darkwill's thralls are searching for something. Snatching up articles of the arcane: rituals of blood and bone, relics of the Shadow Isles, and things darker still."
THORN: "He desires things we can offer. An interesting opportunity."
LEBLANC: "I will bend his ear. If he is receptive, ensure we can provide what we promise."
CITIZENS OF NOXUS! OUR FORCES STAND ASSEMBLED, WHILE DEMACIA'S LIE LEADERLESS. THE TIME TO STRIKE IS NOW! BY THE ORDER OF THE GRAND GENERAL, WE WILL MARCH ON THE MORROW WITH THE BUTCHER OF JARVAN AT OUR HEAD. BEAR WITNESS!
DARKWILL: "What did you do"?
LEBLANC: "Provided you with what you desired, nothing more."
DARKWILL: "This is not what I desired!"
LEBLANC: "You sought to raise this corpse to do your bidding once again. In that, we have succeeded."
DARKWILL: "Look at him! This... thing has no place at the head of an army."
LEBLANC: "Not as a leader, no. But your friend was never so much a leader as a killer. And he has never been more perfectly suited to that role than he is now. He does not fear, he does not question—he does not die!"
DARKWILL: "Damn you. I have no other choice."
To the office of the Grand General, There is no doubt the revenant is an effective weapon. It almost razed the fortress at Andras singlehandedly. However, it's also responsible for nearly as many casualties among our forces as the Demacians. The thing seems to feast on the very act of slaughter. It took a company of heavy infantry to subdue it this time, and it's only getting stronger, hacked to pieces or no.
The toll on morale has been heavy. The soldiers find it disquieting to see one of their heroes turned into a monstrosity. It causes them to contemplate how they might be rewarded for their own service. I've had to cull three score regiments for refusing to march aside the thing in battle. I fear the situation will only get worse with time.
Respectfully, Grand General, some things are better left buried.
ACCESS TO THIS MEMORIAL AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS IS HEREBY FORBIDDEN WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM THE GRAND GENERAL. VIOLATORS OF THIS ORDER FACE PUBLIC EXECUTION.
Bridge to the Past
- Excerpts from the journal of Grand General Swain
A shame Keiran failed to enjoy his father's longevity, not that he'd have been able to enjoy the high office at all had I not designed it. The Grand General's chambers harbor many secrets. My secrets now.
The elder Darkwill was well versed in the art of necromancy. It will take me decades to pore through his library of grimoires, but that will be time I can steal, as he did.
I made a discovery today, one of Boram Darkwill's first dabblings with death magic. It seems he was attempting a resurrection of some sort. But whose return was he seeking?
The previous regime was exacting in its manipulation of the historical record, but there is just as much a story to be told by what's missing from the record as there is by what remains.
I found it. Deep in Old Noxus lies a memorial that speaks of former grandeur and a fall from grace. Therein lies the man Boram Darkwill attempted to rouse from his eternal slumber.
It's still in there, clawing at the walls. I would almost pity it, if I thought it capable of suffering.
LEBLANC: "I haven't had the pleasure of your company for some time, Grand General."
SWAIN: "You have my favor. That is enough."
LEBLANC: "And yet, I suspect you're here to seek the Black Rose's assistance once more."
LEBLANC: "After the last charade? Enough that you should be very mindful of how you use it. Whatever you intend had best be brief."
SWAIN: "No chicanery this time; my need for subtlety is nearing its end. I must secure my position with bloodshed, and that requires a blunt instrument."
LEBLANC: "It sounds as if you have one in mind."
SWAIN: "Let me show you."
"We've come full circle: a Grand General in need of a champion, the Black Rose seeking to wind its roots further into High Command, and a fallen warrior starved of battle. This time, it will be different. Boram managed to revive the body successfully, but all he got was a mindless beast with a single instinct: to devour life. I can't fix a thing so broken, but I can rekindle its purpose, and that may be enough for my plans. The ritual is prepared, and the body still hungers. Drink deep of the blood of your killer, son of Noxus, and live again."― Swain
- Upon selection
- "Rest is for the living."
- Upon starting a game
- "It's been too long."
- "Battle... yes!"
- "When does the killing start?"
- "Killing, I know."
- "Another corpse for the pile."
- "Ally, enemy... I don't care."
- "They'll never find all your pieces."
- "More enemies!"
- "My axe is getting cold!"
- "I will kill you all!"
- "I will break you!"
- "I must be sated!"
- "Give me an enemy."
- "I taste blood in the air."
- "I'll use their bones to pick my teeth."
- "I will ruin you."
- While in combat
- "Raise your weapon!"
- "Your life is mine!"
- "I'll pull you apart!"
- "I'll rip your head from your spine!"
- "Your cries disgust me!"
- "Bleed for me!"
- "I'll grind you to dust!"
- "I'll drown you in your own blood!"
- "I'll rip the meat from your bones!"
- "Blood will spill!"
- "I'll drink from your skull!"
- "Drink their blood!"
- "Run from me!"
- "I'll whet my axe on your bones!"
- "I... do not bleed."
- "What am I?"
- "No... pain... no... feeling... but hunger..."
- "Why do I feel... nothing?"
- "What toll have I paid?"
- "These wounds bring no pain."
- "This hunger... it gnaws."
- "The quiet... eats at me."
- "Where are they?"
- "How many battles have I won?"
- "I hate this waiting."
- "Where is the thrill of carnage?"
- "I need a slaughter!"
- "Always marching."
- While in combat
- "Forget the faces of the slain."
- "Slay the strong, trample the weak!"
- "Blood is the wine of victory."
- "Cowardice will be met with death."
- "Noxus suffers no cowards."
- "Death had its chance."
- "Only cowards fear death."
- "Victory is soaked in blood."
- "Break their will and their bones."
- "Winning is like breathing."
- "Our drums will drown out their screams."
- While revived by Glory in Death
- "I had a funny bone, then I crushed it. Laugh, worm!"
- "The mewling of your orphan children amuses me! How's that for funny?"
- "It's murdering time!"
- "Your puny body is the only joke here."
- "Your... puny body is the only joke here."
- Joking near an enemy Jarvan IV
- "You look just like your ancestor: dead!"
- "How many Jarvans must I kill?"
- "Four Jarvans, and you're all still failures! That is funny."
- Joking near an enemy Urgot
- "Why don't I have coverage for prosthetics?"
- "So, uh, Urgot. We can't hang out any more. I'm cool now."
- "You reek of fear!"
- "Come out and die!"
- "Your bones will pave my road to glory!"
- "More grist for the mill of war!"
- "Your snapping bones are music to my ears!"
- "I don't care what your name is!"
- Taunting an enemy Galio
- "I know you... I want to remember killing you!"
- "Time to cut your strings, puppet!"
- "One of us will finally die today!"
- "We've clashed a thousand times... no more!"
- Taunting an enemy Jarvan IV
- "I killed you once... I'll kill you again!"
- "I'll plant that banner in your corpse!"
- "Next in line, next to die."
- "Today, we'll see if ghosts can bleed."
- Taunting an enemy Karthus
- "Even death trembles before me."
- Taunting an enemy Pantheon
- "You will be privileged to die... under my boot!"
- Taunting an enemy Swain
- "You are not my general!"
- "I am not your pawn, Swain!"
- "You are weak, Swain! You are no leader!"
- Sion laughs.
- Sion laughs.
- Sion laughs.
- Sion laughs.
- Upon casting Decimating Smash
- "Shattered earth and bodies!"
- "Broken stone, broken bones!"
- "Quake and die!"
- "Die and be silent!"
- While in combat
- "Feel that?"
- "You are worms!"
- "A black eye for the earth!"
- "Even the ground trembles!"
- "Leave no stone unbroken!"
- "You're nothing!"
- Upon casting Soul Furnace
- "My blood burns."
- "Heat... and... rage!"
- "Fire in my veins!"
- While in combat
- "I feel no pain!"
- "Is that all?"
- "Think you can take me?"
- "You can't even scratch me!"
- Upon detonating Soul Furnace
- "I hear the screams!"
- "The din of the dying!"
- Upon casting Roar of the Slayer
- "Out of my way!"
- "You can't hide behind lackeys!"
- While in combat
- "You're mine!"
- "Get up! Fight!"
- "Is this what passes for war?!"
- Upon casting Unstoppable Onslaught
- "I'll crush you all!"
- "Nothing will stop me!"
- "I! Am! War!"
- Sion bellows.
- Sion bellows.
- Upon buying any item
- "The spoils of war."
- "I will drench it in their blood."
- "I'll bury it in their skulls."
- "If it breaks, so will you."
- "I'll break it in."
- "Hand it over before I kill you."
- "Another trinket to be shattered."
- "It will do."
- "No mere spell will stop me."
- "A sword lacks heft."
- "This cleaver... will be red soon."
- "This is not the first dead king's weapon I've taken."
- "It longs to kill."
- "Yes... I like this weapon."
- "These will wade through the blood of thousands."
- "Nothing will keep me from battle."
- "Every step will crack the earth."
- "Good enough to stomp insects."
- "This will stop their flailing!"
- "Do you feel a shiver down your spine?"
- "Ah... cold fear."
- "I'll shatter the gates of Demacia with this hammer!"
- "Cold as the grip of death!"
- "I'll feel their bodies grow cold."
- "This will sever a thousand heads."
- "Spells... hmph."
- "Protection from the bites of gnats."
- "A dark omen for my enemies!"
- "They will break first."
- "All will burn in my wake."
- "They'll beg as they burn."
- "Fire... good..."
- "Leave no wound unanswered."
- "This was made for war, as am I!"
- "This is the only fortress I need!"
- "This has seen many battles."
- "Battle scarred... I like it."
- Upon killing a unit
- "The hunger, it grows!"
- "You all die too quickly!"
- "Stack the bodies higher!"
- "I'll make a mountain of the dead!"
- "Show me the enemy."
- "Let them sneak, then let them die."
- "A trap for vermin."
- Upon casting Recall
- "This battle is done."
- "They can cower a little longer."
- "I'll be back."
- "I'll be back."
- Upon completing Recall
- "The enemy awaits."
- "There's death to deal."
- "This is the ground you'll die on!"
- "Running is futile!"
- "Where are you going? Nowhere!"
- "I... feel... alive!"
- "Blood... on my... hands! This I remember!"
- "I do not tire! I do not bleed!"
- "More! More!"
- "Losing... myself..."
- "Not yet... I can hang on..."
- "My... mind... will not dim!"
- "I must live again..."
- "I crave more!"
- Upon selection
- "I do it."
- "I'm dead... so are you."
- "I do it."
- "Stop being a bonehead!"
- "Lead me to battle."
- "Get on my Chopper!"
- "Now, I'm dead serious."
- "Who is your summoner, and what does he do?"
- "What is best in death? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of noobs!"
- "Hand bone connected to the axe bone connected to your face bone!"
- Sion laughs.
- Sion laughs.
Co-op vs. AI Responses
- "Come beat me if you want to win."
Player team victory
Player team defeat
- "We'll be back."
- "We'll see you soon."
- Sion was designed by Ezreal.
Sooooo... Sion. We first toyed with the notion of updating him years ago – now that it’s here, we figured we’d talk about what was wrong with old Sion, and how we created the juggernaut that’s currently crushing skulls on PBE.
Out with the old...
Old Sion had countless problems: he was a mage with an ax, he’d end up with two redundant abilities regardless of how he built, his model had aged horribly, and he had some pretty... interesting voiceover. Worst of all, none of these “qualities” actually worked together, so while modern champion designs try to create a cohesive identity through their gameplay, story and art, Sion was all over the place. After deliberating as a full group, we - the Champion Update team - decided to undertake our grandest project yet, updating Sion’s art, narrative and gameplay. We basically buried old Sion, ordered the orbital strike, then picked through the rubble to find the diamonds we could carry through in his update.
But where did we start with making new Sion? First, we needed to identify the key pillars that we’d use to mechanically, artistically and narratively define him. This is a process we go through with all new and updated champs; here’s what we came up with:
- Unstoppable Juggernaut
- Faded Glory of Noxus
Essentially, we wanted Sion to be an unrelenting war machine, a ragged Noxian titan who’d be sewn back together after battle and pointed in the rough direction of the enemy army when they next rolled up. This sense would have to seep into every aspect of Sion’s identity to make him a cohesive champion. Here’s what that meant to some of the key guys behind Sion’s update.
Gameplay design by Riot Scruffy
More than anything, old Sion was just confused with no clear sense of identity. Some of his abilities worked with attack damage, some with ability power, and he sort of functioned as a tank. Thing is, no matter how you built him, you’d end up actively forgoing the effective use of a number of your abilities and stats. On top of that, there were almost no interesting interactions in his kit: Sion had a fixed play pattern with zero skillshots, and abilities that gave players really few opportunities to express their skills or mastery. Basically, when we got together to start working on Sion, we knew we’d pretty much start from scratch with his design because almost none of it – aside from his W and passive health gain - was compelling or consistent.
So, we knew he’d be a hulking and unstoppable undead warrior, but what does that mean from a design perspective? First off, he’d be slow but tough, a walking cadaver that could take a bunch of punishment before going down. This gave us a basic design concept: new Sion would be tanky and slow with powerful but telegraphed attacks and abilities. This meant that enemies would be able to work around the areas that Sion was about to attack, but also meant that Sion could use that same knowledge to make cerebral plays. Decimating Smash, for instance, has a huge and very visible wind up that shows Sion’s enemies exactly where he’s about to swing his ax. This alone gives Sion immense zone control, but he can also swing his ax early, meaning his enemy has to work around the window of assault that he’s created and anticipate exactly when Sion’s going to attack. Soul Furnace, the only of Sion’s active abilities to survive the update, has a similar psychological element: activating the shield tells your opponent you’re ready to fight, but they still don’t know when or even if you’re planning on detonating it. How you use the ability, and how you use the threat of the ability’s damage, is something that you and your opponent get to play around. What’s more, with his huge area of effect abilities, Sion absolutely thrives in the heart of a fight, where he can hurt multiple targets and zone enemy assassins away from his team’s squishies.
Next we wanted to emphasize Sion as an unstoppable juggernaut. We used the idea as a gameplay hook in his passive, giving him the chance to turn berserk and take down enemies as he dies, just as he does in his updated lore. We used the same theme to define his ultimate, Unstoppable Charge, which has huge range and turns the otherwise lumbering zombie man into a terrifying man missile. But again, there are trade-offs: Sion’s hard to steer and has to stick to a largely straight line, so it’s down to Sion players to pick clever locations and figure out optimal timing to ensure that when he does arrive, he charges into an unsuspecting and trapped enemy team. Seeing Sion ult into the enemy after teleporting in behind them during our internal tests was a terrifying sight, and we can’t wait to see how you guys make the most of his Unstoppable Onslaught.
Narrative design by Riot Entropy
Whenever we update a champion we begin by taking everything we know about them and paring down all that information until we identify the essential elements, the immutable traits that are so core to the champion that changing them might very well turn them into an entirely different character. It might have been easy to write off old Sion entirely and start from scratch, but at the end of the day the core concept of “hulking undead warrior” has always been a solid foundation. The problem was a lot of the elements we hung on that skeleton weren’t complimentary to that core identity. We took Sion down the humorous route, made him bright and colorful, and gave him Arnold Schwarzenegger inspired voice-over, all of which ultimately undermined what was cool about the core concept. This time around we decided to play the concept straight and holistically construct a truly fearsome warrior through identity, art and gameplay.
At this point we knew we were making Sion a giant undead killing-machine, but we still needed to explore what makes Sion unique. Ax-wielding Noxian badass was a space Darius was already doing a good job filling, and with Urgot firmly in the reanimated horror arena there was a need to give Sion some space to thrive. Rather than look at these similarities as redundancies, we used them as inspiration. We started asking big questions: If Noxus can raise the dead, why wouldn’t they have thousands of undead in their ranks? Why did they reanimate Urgot through entirely different means than Sion? Who was Sion in life? Why did Noxus want to bring him back to life? How would Darius feel about Sion, about undeath? How old is Sion, really? How did Sion’s resurrection affect him?
What we landed on in the end was a great warrior of Noxus’s past, the first Hand of Noxus who met his end dealing a crippling blow to his nation’s greatest enemy. We made Sion a man who was granted immortality for his deeds, but decided that gift should be a curse rather than a blessing. We found something noble and tragic in the transformation robbing him of what made him great: his identity. Sion is the echo of his former self driven by an instinctual need to feast on life, but we didn’t want him to just be a bloodthirsty monster. We still wanted Sion to be a character capable of supporting a compelling story in the present as well as the past, so we instilled a small glimmer of hope in his condition. In reliving the bloodshed of his former life, Sion begins to remember who he is and realize what he’s become, if only for a short time. Can he hang onto himself long enough to break free of the cycle remembrance and loss he’s bound to? Time will tell.
All of this backstory would ring a bit hollow if the champ you played in game didn’t really reflect the uniqueness of Sion’s condition, so we tried something experimental with Sion’s voice over. When Sion fights with champions or dives into the enemy team he begins to feel more alive and his voiceover set changes to reflect that he’s more the warrior he used to be: exhilarated, brutal and at home in war. As Sion spends time away from the fray, he begins to slip back into the haze of his undeath where his thoughts are clouded and his need is singular.
Art design by HUGEnFAST
By 2014’s standards, old Sion looked like crap. There, I said it. He was one of the League’s oldest, and like most other launch champs, had not aged well at all. But that’s not exactly a revelation. In fact, we’d been avoiding eye contact with Sion’s old model for a while, but – knowing the narrative and gameplay guys were equally peeved by him - had to wait for the right time to really pull him apart and figure out what needed to be tossed, and what could be kept. Once we all finally got together, we realized that a decent number of old Sion’s visual hooks – specifically his ax, size, and undead nature - were worth keeping. Thing is, they were poorly executed on, which gave up as a pretty simple goal: to really execute better this time around, and tie new Sion visually to his Noxian home.
So taking his key pillars into account, how did we set about updating Sion? Well, first off we wanted to identify and emphasize the role of magic in the big guy’s resurrection. His obvious source of power might be his ax, but when Swain resurrected him, he also imbued him with a form of magic. So while Sion’s now something of a hollow corpse, his body’s been filled with the red energy most notable on his stomach – the same energy that forms Soul Furnace’s shield. Next we wanted to address Sion’s ax and armor, specifically in relation to Darius, the man who’s taken on Sion’s role of general in contemporary Noxus.
There are some pretty clear similarities, including the general shapes and colors (Noxus is... very black and red), but we also wanted to hint at some of the military changes that had occurred since Sion’s initial death. Essentially, Sion’s more brutal, whereas Darius is a little more refined. Sion’s armor is bolder and stronger, and he uses his ax more as a club than a slicing weapon. Hundreds of years have refined Noxian warfare, so while Darius is still definitely brutal, he’s more precise – someone who’ll cut your jugular and let you bleed to death. This carries through in his appearance: Darius’s ax is a relatively refined weapon, and his armor hasn’t got the same sheer bulk or weight as Sion’s.
Next we wanted to showcase Sion’s undead characteristics. We started looking at his skin hue, and ultimately decided to use an ashen, pale tone that would contrast well with the rich reds and blacks of his armor. Speaking of armor, you might notice a relative lack of it compared to other Noxians. That’s deliberate: we found that as we added armor pieces, he lost the undead feel we wanted. Also, look close and you’ll see that the armor he has is actually bolted on. Sion’s not the kind of guy who changes from his outdoor cardigan to his indoor cardigan after a fight – he’s a living war machine who, when he’s not fighting, is locked away so he can’t rampage his way through his own people. Another change you’ll notice is his hair, or lack of!
After trying a few different styles out, we discovered that any hair detracted from the undead feel of the guy. At the same time, we really liked this top-knot look, so we started tinkering around with other non-hair things we could add in to give Sion something unique and break up and otherwise fairly smooth silhouette. The dagger idea was perfect – unique and brutal – and we quickly incorporated it into his resurrection ritual. Speaking of brutality, check out Sion’s jaw: It’s Jarvan I’s crown!
This relatively small touch was just one of the ways we ended up tying Sion’s story to his model, and really emphasized how utterly brutal this guy is – he literally screams at his enemies using the crown of the Demacian king he killed.
Hopefully this article’s given you some good insight into how we went about recreating Sion! We spent many months on his update, and worked to deliver a cohesive and unique champion to League of Legends. Join the whole team here for Q&A!